If you’re a beginner drummer, choosing a pair of drumsticks can be very overwhelming. There are countless variations that range in length, weight, size, and material. Picking just one pair out of all of them may seem like an impossible task.
However, beginner drummers don’t need to worry too much about all those options. There are a few standard drumstick sizes that you should be looking at, and we’re going to give seven suggestions on which one to get.
These are all sticks that are freely available in almost every music store in the world.
- 1 Top 3 Best Drumsticks for Beginners
- 2 Best Drumsticks for Beginners Reviews
- 3 How to Choose the Best Drumsticks for Beginners
- 4 Final Thoughts on the Best Drumsticks for Beginners
Top 3 Best Drumsticks for Beginners
The Vic Firth 5A Wood Tip Drumsticks are our Top Pick Winner. These are the most popular drumsticks that exist simply because their length and size are good for everything. They’re versatile sticks, so they’re great for beginners to start off with.
The On-Stage 5A Wood Tip Drumsticks are our Best Budget Pick. They also have the same 5A size as the previous sticks, but they’re from a far more affordable drumstick brand. These are purely sticks for beginners and children, though, as experienced players will break them quite quickly.
The Vater Sizzle Fusion Drumstick Mallets are our Editor’s Choice. They’re drumsticks with mallet tips on the other end. This allows you to turn them over to play swells on the cymbals. They’re an excellent tool to have in your cymbal bag.
Best Drumsticks for Beginners Reviews
The most popular pair of drumsticks in the drumming world. They’re a good fit for everything.
These Vic Firth 5As are commonly referred to as the ultimate pair of drumsticks. Their size, weight, and feel provide a good middle ground between every drumstick type, making them the perfect option for beginner drummers to start with. They feel great in your hands.
If you’re just starting off on your drumming journey, we highly recommend starting with a pair of Vic Firth 5As. The biggest reason for this is that you can compare every other pair of drumsticks to these to see if you like them or not.
Most drummers, including us, love how these feel when you play. We love how versatile they are. You can play rock, jazz, and everything in between.
They have a length of 16”, which is the most standard length for drumsticks. Their diameter is 0.565”, making them feel fairly weighty in your hands but more on the lighter side compared to many other sticks.
That makes them easy to play quick patterns with. They have a medium taper, which gives them a good amount of power as well.
Overall, these are incredible drumsticks that seem to be able to do anything. There are a few good 5A options from the other stick brands, but we think the Vic Firth ones are the best ones to start with.
Verdict: The Vic Firth 5A Drumsticks are the ultimate sticks for beginner drummers to begin their drumming journeys with. They provide a medium balance between speed and power, and most drummers love how they feel in their hands. These specific sticks have teardrop tips, but you can find other options with various types. Some drummers may prefer something heavier or lighter, but these are good to start with to make those comparisons for yourself.
One of the most affordable pairs of 5A drumsticks you can get.
On-Stage is a budget brand that offers drumsticks at a fraction of the cost of the mainline brand’s sticks. They’re excellent for beginner drummers who don’t take gear seriously yet. These 5A sticks work just the same, but they’re not as durable.
We were a bit hesitant to try On-Stage sticks at first, as they don’t have the best reputation for being of high quality. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how these 5As performed.
As we said with the previous sticks, the 5A size is the best place for beginner drummers to start. The problem is that a pair from the main brands will be anywhere from $10 to $20. While that’s fairly inexpensive, beginner drummers who aren’t sure about drumming yet may not want to spend that much on a pair.
These sticks are only a fraction of the cost, making them far more attractive. They’re also an amazing option for parents who have children that play drums. Kids won’t understand quality just yet, so you’ll save a lot of moneyby getting them more affordable drumsticks.
The downside of these sticks is that they’re not as durable as the main brands’ sticks. You can also feel that they’re lower quality. If you’ve used Vic Firth, Vater, or Promark drumsticks before these, you won’t like how they feel.
Verdict: The On-Stage 5A Wood Tip Drumsticks are a great option for brand new drummers or children. They’re seriously inexpensive, making them an ideal option for drummers who are just testing the waters and don’t want to invest in high-quality drumsticks just yet. They’re not a great option for drummers who have already used sticks from popular brands, though, as they’ll be able to feel the quality difference.
A hybrid pair of drumsticks with mallets on the opposite ends.
These drumsticks have mallet tips on one side and oval wood tips on the other. They’re a great pair of sticks to have in your stick bag, as you can use them to play swells on the cymbals.
Beginner drummers may not worry too much about playing cymbal swells just yet. However, we feel that these drumsticks will make an amazing start to a beginner drummer’s stick collection. They’re the types of sticks that you want to have in your stick bag to use at times when you need them.
When you use the wood-tipped side, they perform the same way as regular drumsticks. They’re a bit longer, though, having a length of 17”.
When you switch them around, you can use the mallets to play swells. You can also use them to play rounder tones on the toms.
We found these mallets to be a bit harder than we expected, but we appreciate how that makes them a lot more durable. Mallets often start to get damaged over time, but we can’t see that happening with these ones.
Having sticks like this is a much better option than having a separate pair of mallets to use.
Verdict: The Vater Sizzle Fusion Drumstick Mallets are an excellent option for drummers who want to start working on their drumstick collection. It’s a great idea to have different drumsticks to use for various purposes, and the included mallet sides on these make them seriously versatile. The mallets are hard, so they don’t wear out as most other mallets do. We just wouldn’t recommend these as the first pair of drumsticks for beginners to get.
Heavier drumsticks for more power behind your strokes.
These sticks are heavier and thicker than 5A sticks. They’re great for drummers who want something a bit meatier in their hands, and they help you play louder on the drums with less effort.
If you want something a bit heavier than a 5A pair of drumsticks, the next best option would be a pair of 5Bs. We think these Classic Forward 5Bs from Promark are an amazing option to consider.
They have a diameter of 0.590”, and that makes them feel a lot bulkier in your hands compared to 5As. It also makes them heavier. The combination of those two things leads to more power behind your strokes. You can play louder with less effort compared to the 5A drumsticks.
These sticks are mainly suited for rock, punk, and metal, but we know many drummers that are happy using them for any style of music.
If you’re used to using 5As, you may find these to feel a bit short in your hands. However, most drummers quickly get used to them and end up loving that feeling.
Verdict: The Promark Classic Forward 5B Drumsticks are a good option for drummers who want something a bit heavier than 5As. We love how easy these sticks make it to play loudly, and they’re great options for heavier styles of drumming. They may just feel a bit short in your hands if you’re used to playing with standard 5As. You should get used to them quickly, though.
Lighter drumsticks for more finesse behind your strokes. They make it easier to play faster.
These sticks are lighter, thinner, and slightly shorter than 5A drumsticks. They’re a good option for drummers with a lighter touch. They’re also ideal for children getting into drumming.
If 5A drumsticks feel a bit heavy for you, the next best option would be a pair of 7A drumsticks. We’d say that these Vic Firth 7As are the perfect alternative option to the Vic Firth 5As, as they share similar design qualities. They’re just thinner, lighter, and a bit shorter.
They have a length of 15.5”, which may sound like they’re too short, but we were impressed at how natural they felt to play with.
The diameter is 0.540”, making them feel a lot lighter. This is their main feature, as it’s the biggest difference that you feel when comparing them to a pair of 5A drumsticks.
Some drummers play quite gently, and we’d say that these sticks are perfect for them. Some drumming styles also require lighter playing, and the 7As are regularly seen as sticks for jazz drummers.
They’re not for everyone, though, as hard hitters will end up breaking them a lot quicker.
Verdict: The Vic Firth 7A Drumsticks are a good option for drummers who want light sticks that are easy to play with. They make it easier to play quick patterns, so they’re also excellent for speed. Children will love them due to both of those reasons. They’re just not a good option for drummers that play hard, as they’ll break a lot quicker than 5As or 5Bs.
Small drumsticks for toddlers and young kids.
These sticks were specifically designed for very young children. They’re a lot shorter than standard drumsticks, making them feel more comfortable for kids to use. They work particularly well when paired with kids’ drum sets.
These are some of the best drumsticks for kids that we know of. A lot of kids’ sticks are very fickle, and they break within weeks of getting them. Vic Firth decided to make a durable pair, and we think these sticks are amazing.
They’re only 13” in length, making children feel very comfortable when using them. When kids use regular sticks, they often feel too long and bulky. Even 7A sticks are too much for very small kids. These are still long enough to reach all the drums and cymbals, but they’re short enough for a child to feel like they’re in control.
We love how you get a blue and pink option. Whether you have a son or daughter, these sticks will look very attractive to them compared to the classic wood finishes on most other drumsticks.
When it comes to getting your kids into playing drums, any appealing visual aspects will really help.
Verdict: The Vic Firth Kidsticks are the best drumstick option available for kids. They’re a lot shorter than standard sticks, and that gives small kids more control when they’re sitting at the kit. You get to choose between a blue or pink pair, making these look more exciting to toddlers. Just make sure that you don’t get these to use if you’re an adult, as they’ll be far too short.
5A drumsticks with a maple design to make them feel a bit lighter.
These sticks have the same size dimensions as the Vic Firth 5As, but they’re a bit lighter due to them being made from maple wood. They’re an excellent option for drummers who like the feel of 5A drumsticks but want something that feels lighter in their hands.
If you’ve tried hickory 5As out but feel that they’re a bit heavy, you may benefit from trying maple 5As before moving to 7As. A lot of drummers feel that 7As are too light, so these maple 5As from Meinl Stick & Brush would be the perfect middle-ground option.
They’re also slightly longer than the Vic Firth 5As, having a length of 16.25”. We enjoyed the extra bit of reach that these offered.
We think they’d make amazing jazz drumsticks, as they allow you to play faster patterns with less effort, and the extra reach is great for playing the cymbals.
They’re also great for drummers with a lighter touch. They’re just not great for heavy drummers, as they’ll break quicker than a pair of hickory 5As will.
Verdict: The Meinl Stick & Brush 5A Hard Maple Drumsticks are an excellent middle-ground option that falls between hickory 5As and 7As. They’re amazing for drummers that like the feel of standard 5A sticks but want something a bit lighter in their hands. They’re also slightly longer, making them feel great to play cymbals with. We’d just recommend sticking with hickory 5As if you’re someone who plays the drums quite hard.
How to Choose the Best Drumsticks for Beginners
Drum sticks come in different lengths, and they typically range from 15” to 17”. The standard length for drumsticks is 16”, and that’s what we’d suggest for beginners.
16” is the standard length, as most drummers are happy using it. That means it’s most likely to be the best length for beginner drummers as well.
If the stick is shorter, you lose a bit of power from your strokes. If it’s longer, you get more power and reach, but the stick will become heavier. Not everyone is a fan of longer sticks, so beginners should try out the standard length before anything.
Anything drumstick shorter than 15” will be one that is specifically designed for children.
Weight is a huge aspect to consider when choosing drumsticks. The heavier sticks are, the more power you’ll get behind your strokes. However, lighter sticks are easier to play faster patterns with.
The weight of your sticks should depend on your playing style, but beginner drummers mostly haven’t developed a playing style yet. So, it’s good to try all the stick weights out to see which one you like the most.
Most weight can be identified in comparison to a 5A drumstick, which is the most standard drumstick you get.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the sizes and how their weight affects them:
- 5A – standard drumstick
- 7A – lighter and thinner than 5A sticks
- 5B – heavier and thicker than 5A sticks
- 2B – much heavier and thicker than 5A sticks
The tip of a drumstick affects how it feels and sounds when striking drums or cymbals. When it comes to tip material, you either get wooden or nylon tips.
Wooden tips are far more popular, as they feel and sound natural on the drums. Nylon tips sound more pronounced on cymbals, and they’re more durable than wood tips. However, most drummers prefer wooden tips.
You get various shapes within the wooden tip segments. They don’t change the sound, but they slightly change how the drumsticks feel when striking the drumheads.
Here’s a list of tip options:
For beginners, the tip shape won’t matter. You should worry more about the weight and length. You’ll just need to choose between wood or nylon tips.
There are three main material types that you’ll find with drumsticks. These are oak, maple, and hickory.
Oak sticks are the hardest and heaviest. We wouldn’t recommend these for beginner drummers, as they can feel heavy to play with, making things uncomfortable.
Maple sticks are the lightest. They’re easy to play with, but they’re the least durable for drummers who like to hit hard.
Hickory sticks are the most common, and hickory sticks sit in between oak and maple. They’re a great middle-ground option, and that’s why we’ve mostly suggested hickory options in the list above.
There are a few good drumstick brands to pick from. These include Vic Firth, Vater, Promark, Meinl Stick & Brush, and Zildjian.
If you choose a pair of drumsticks from one of those brands, you’ll be safe. They all have reputations for releasing reliable products that have been designed well.
Lesser-known brands are a bit riskier, as the quality control can be bad. The sticks also often don’t feel the same as the ones from the main brands.
For example, On-Stage is our suggestion for budget 5A sticks, but those feel extremely light and dainty compared to the 5A sticks from all the main brands. This leads them to break a lot faster.
Final Thoughts on the Best Drumsticks for Beginners
As you try different drumsticks out, you’ll start developing preferences over time. If 5A sticks are too light for your taste, you should then try out 5B sticks. If they feel too heavy, you should try out 7A.
That cycle will continue until you find the perfect option. Thankfully, drumsticks are inexpensive.
To recap our suggestions above, the Vic Firth 5A Wood Tip Drumsticks are our Top Pick due to their versatility. The On-Stage 5A Wood Tip Drumsticks are our Best Budget Option with their price tag being so low. The Vater Sizzle Fusion Drumstick Mallets are our Editor’s Choice, as you get sticks and mallets in one package.